Europe was the world's sole region showing a year-over-year jump in hotel construction in the second quarter of this year, STR reports. Europe's 7.9% rise, representing 237,304 rooms, contrasted with declines as great as 11.2% in the Americas.
Global hospitality executive William Heinecke acts bullish about leisure travel's comeback in much of the world but warns that vaccine concerns cloud the outlook in Asia. The CEO of Minor International notes that volume has reached or approached pre-pandemic levels in some regions and is rebounding in especially hard-hit areas such as Thailand.
Hoteliers in the heavily booked Hamptons are entertaining offers far in excess of normal rates from well-heeled consumers hungry for space at the hotspot. "It's like 'Hamptons Hotels Gone Wild' out here these days," said Southampton hotel owner Michael Pitsinos.
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is vetoing the Hotel Construction Moratorium Bill that passed July 2 by the Maui County Council because he deems it inadequate to deal with the challenges of Hawaii's tourism surge. "While we appreciate the hospitality industry's economic contributions, and the benefits they bring, our residents, our culture, and our natural resources must come first," a county official said.
The COVID-19 Health Rejuvenating program at the RAKxa resort in Thailand is a prime example of a new wave of spa treatments targeting persistent coronavirus symptoms known as long COVID. Spain's SHA Wellness Clinic launched its seven-day Post-COVID program earlier this year.
The availability of a resident naturopath at Anantara Veli Maldives and licensed naturopathic physicians at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia highlight how leading hotels are adding naturopathic medicine to their spa and wellness offerings. "Hotels, spas and resorts are reading the pulse of travelers and really drilling down into expanded wellness offerings," says Rona Berg, editorial director of Organic Spa Media.
Gurney's Montauk Resort's waterfront spa in Long Island, N.Y., is undergoing a renovation directed by architect Ignacio Alonso of Alonso Designs. Plans for the Seawater Spa include aromatherapy steamrooms and co-ed relaxation areas.
Hospitality giants such as AccorHotels and Marriott International are escalating their battles with the likes of Vrbo and Airbnb for a growing short-term rental market, catalyzed by the pandemic and crowding fears. Already several years under way, the trend saw demand for Homes & Villas by Marriott soar 720% in the first quarter of this year.
A new 21-story tower headlines the $600 million expansion of the Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Okla., near the Texas border. The Choctaw Nation's flagship property will open Aug. 6 with six restaurants, 11 bars, a three-acre swimming area and 1,000 new hotel rooms.